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<h1><a href="/" title="Derek Sivers">Derek Sivers</a></h1>
<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/a">Anything You Want</a>”:</div>
<h1>The strength of many little customers</h1>
Many small entrepreneurs think, “If we could just land Apple, Google, or the government as a client, we’d be all set!”
Software companies often do this.
They hope to make some technology that a huge company will want to build into every product, or install at every employee’s desk.
But this approach has many problems:
You have to custom-tailor your product to please very few specific people.
Those people may change their mind or leave the company.
Who are you really working for?
Are you self-employed or is this client your boss?
If you do land the big client, they practically own you.
By trying so hard to please the big client, you lose touch with what the rest of the world wants.
Instead, imagine if you designed your business to have no big clients, just lots of little clients.
You don’t need to change what you do to please one client — only the majority (or yourself).
If one client needs to leave, it’s OK.
You can sincerely wish them well.
Because no one client can demand you do what they say, you are your own boss.
Just keep clients happy in general.
You hear hundreds of people’s opinions, and stay in touch with what the majority of people want.
So much of the music business is actually the star business — people hoping to catch the coattails of a huge mega-star.
But I wanted nothing to do with that, for these same reasons.
When you build your business on serving thousands of customers, not dozens, you don’t have to worry about any one customer leaving or making special demands.
If most of your customers love what you do, but one doesn’t, you can just say goodbye and wish him the best, with no hard feelings.
<img src="/images/big-vs-little-clients.jpg" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vernhart/" />
© 2008 <a href="https://sive.rs/">Derek Sivers</a>.
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